playing catch up with media and stuff

  • Sep. 6th, 2005 at 6:12 PM
cali: (Default)
First off some music:

Artist: MIA
Album: Arular
Genre: Hip/Hop, with heavy electro, and international leanings
Recommended Song: Hombre
Download: full album

Some things you might want to know about M.I.A.: She was born in Sri Lanka and raised in London. Her dad was a Tamil Freedom fighter and her songs are heavily influenced by both her political background and ethnic identity. She's innovative and her sound is really hard to compare to anyone else's. Um. Lots of hipsters love her. But since I'd probably call myself a hipster if pressed, I don't think that's a bad thing.

Now: some other media:
[ Lance talking about a charity auction for hurrcane relief ] -- mpg, 30mb from [ profile] pacific_gravity
[ The Brokeback Mountain trailer as aired on CNN ] -- wmv, 6.5mb from [ profile] hackthis? I think?
cali: (Default)
The Sparkplug Foundation, an awesome grant-giving organization has put together a good list of where to donate to organizations who are:

* Organizing at the grassroots level in New Orleans, Biloxi, Houston and other affected areas
* Providing immediate disaster relief to poor people and people of color
* Directed by, or accountable to, poor people and people of color
* Fostering the democratic inclusion of poor people and people of color in the rebuilding process

This is a great letter about why it's important to support local, grassroots relief efforts.

Also, a message from Keith McHenry, a co-founder of the first Food Not Bombs group back in the early 1980s.


  • Sep. 4th, 2005 at 11:01 AM
cali: (Default)
There's something I've been wanting to talk about for a little while that's even more apparent in light of the hurricane: homelessness. As some of you may know, I've been a volunteer with Food Not Bombs for over 4 years. There are over 175 autonomous Food Not Bombs groups around the world. Each Food Not Bombs group serves free food both to hungry people, and in support of political organizing efforts. Food Not Bombs is, at it's roots, an idea. Each Food Not Bombs group is it's own autonomous organization and anyone, anywhere can start their own group. The group I've been with for the past 4 years cooks and serves food every sunday at 5pm in a downtown park. We've never missed a serving no matter what holiday it is or not. In fact, I've been looking at a calendar and it looks like we'll be cooking on Christmas this year. And we've done this with a core group of about 5 people. My experiences with FNB have given me a lot of perspective on the world and on homelessness.

I think there's a certain amount of shame that goes on when you pass a homeless person on the street panhandling for change. You know that your six quarters aren't going to do anything about getting that person a house or a job so instead you avert your eyes and maybe, if you're a little bit brave, you mumble something about not having any change. Hey! I do that too sometimes! I also think that in a country with over 40 million people on the brink of starvation and possible homelessness, a lot of us recognize that if given the right wrong circumstances we could just as easily be that person begging for money. I think that idea comes into even greater relief when things like this hurricane happen. One natural disaster and boom half a million people homeless, even more without jobs, and some without any resources to get back on their feet. These are people who have no access to running water, no food, and no clothes but the ones on their backs. And these are the survivors.

Yet we at home have survivors as well. We have our own refugees, right here in our communities. They are forced to seek refuge in their cars, under bridges, along rivers and creek beds, and in overcrowded, temporary shelters. Each morning, they must awake to the prospect of another day of neglect and poverty. These are our own refugees. Our own homeless.

A report released earlier this year by my county's Task Force on Homelessness stated that we have at least 2232 homeless persons, comprising 436 families, and at least 464 children under age 18. Yet the report also professes that these numbers are likely much higher. This, in one of the wealthiest counties in the country. I can only imagine that these numbers are not terribly different to reports from most places around the country.

Unfortunately, our refugees are not that dissimilar from those in Louisiana. By and large they are those who, because of their backgrounds, education, and housing status, have been relegated to second class citizenship. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina we have seen dozens of reports of upper and middle class families having the resources to escape to safety, while the poor were left to fend for themselves. Similarly, the homeless have very much been left on their own, with inadequate services, and a government seemingly more interested in criminalizing them than assisting them.

In the aftermath of this hurricane when so many people are banding together to help and so generously opening their pocketbooks, I'd like to urge you all to remember the people in your hometowns, the ones with no place to live and no food and no clothes who most likely will not have the benefit of falling back on insurance claims and the aid money going to the Gulf region.

I know it's easier to feel sorry for the people whose lives have been affected by the storm, and I know a lot of people like to "blame" homeless people for their circumstances but I'm telling you from my personal experiences that the people I've met on the streets don't want to be there. They're hard working and desperate and they've all had really hard lives. A lot of them have mental health issues and even more of them are Unites States Military Veterans. It is absolutely unconscionable that in a country this rich we still have so many people who are so poor.

I fucking love Kanye West

  • Sep. 3rd, 2005 at 5:05 PM
cali: (bush is an idiot (altera))
So Kanye West appeared on NBC's Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert and went completely off the teleprompter into what was clearly an emotional and impromptu message about the devastatingly slow efforts of the government to get help to New Orleans. I fucking love him. I mean, I liked Kanye before but watching this, watching someone be so brave in standing up and calling this what it is was incredibly powerful. Also, I'd like to note that NBC edited out the last portion of his comments when they aired the show on the west coast. The fuckers. Also of note, some anchors at FOX News think he should have been censored completely. Seriously, go watch. He totally made me cry. (video from the good folks at crooksandliars)
[ Kanye West on NBC ] -- avi, 7.8mb
And now something I'm going to call Reporters Straying from Their Scripts: (videos originally from crooksandliars)

Anderson Cooper, from CNN's Anderson Cooper 360º has been reporting from New Orleans the last few days. In a pretty stunning display of humanism, a lot of the reporters in New Orleans have been getting a lot more personal and a lot more willing to talk about the failures of the government during this crisis. Anderson Cooper interviews Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and asks her directly, “Does the federal government bear responsibility for what is happening now? Should they apologize for what is happening now?”
[ Anderson Cooper - Sen. Landrieu ] -- wmv, 2.91mb
Anderson Cooper interviewing Trent Lott is even better.
[ Anderson Cooper - Trent Lott ] -- wmv, 7.11mb
CNN's Paula Zahn interviewing FEMA's Director, Mike Brown on Thursday. Paula Zahn: Sir, you're not telling me, you're not telling me you just learned that the folks at the convention center didn't have food and water until today did you? You had no idea they were completely cut off?

FEMA's Brown: Paula, the federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today.
[ Paula Zahn - Mike Brown ] -- wmv, 2.61
Lastly, Ted Koppel interviewing Mike Brown. And dude, Ted Koppel just refuses to let Brown duck the hard questions.
[ Ted Koppel - Mike Brown ] -- mov, 9.07mb
I've gotta say, it's weird to see the mainstream media news anchors straying from the status quo like this. Really disorienting.

There's a very interesting article on this over at Slate that you guys should read.

eta: feel free to link to this post if you want to.

in the news

  • Aug. 31st, 2005 at 5:01 PM
cali: (Default)
I'm downloading Prison Break right now, I can upload it when it's done if anyone's interested. Let me know. In the meantime interesting articles you should all read:

THE HURRICANE that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming. )

In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war. )

I saw footage from NO on tv for the first time a little earlier today. CNN was on in the polisci lounge at school. My heart seriously goes out to everyone affected by this disaster. I keep thinking that I need to stock up on flashlights and water because SF is due for an earthquake any day now.